Today’s video is how to make the tasty topping known as Gari or ガリ. Gari is the japanese term for a sweetened pickled ginger that is most commonly known for being served next to your sushi. Most people don’t realize just how simple making their own ginger is. Weather you want to impress your friends at your next dinner party or because you simply want to save money on Gari. Seriously guys, gari is freaking EXPENSIVE.
1-2lbs ginger, younger the better
1 1/2 cups vinegar, rice wine works best
1 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp salt, non-iodized
Prepare your ginger by either scraping off the skin or peeling it away until you’re left with the beautiful yellow flesh. Also be sure to get rid of any nasty bits that might be hiding. Your ginger should smell fresh and very “clean” when its ready.
Use either a mandolin or a sharp chef’s knife and thinly and I do mean THINLY slice your ginger. Thinner the better for a more traditional gari. Put your sliced ginger into either a plastic or preferrably glass bowl, metal is NO GOOD. Why? Because when you add salt, it can/will react with the metal, yes, even stainless steel. Take 1/2 tablespoon salt, non-iodized is always best and I suggest either kosher or sea salt for this. Gently, as to not break up your slices, message the salt onto each pieces of ginger. Just take your time here and try to evenly work the salt in.
Now foir the hardest part: you must let this sit 1 hour, thats 60 seconds, or 3600 seconds. This is key, not long enough and the ginger won’t be salted enough, too long and you’ll get salty ginger slices that are sorta wilted. Trust me here, neither is good!
Approxomitely 5 minutes before you’re done salting the ginger. Take your 1 1/2 cups rice wine vinegar and 1 cup sugar, and put into a sauce pot. Stir vigerously to dissolve all the sugar in the vinegar, bring to a boil for 30-60 seconds and remove from the heat. Let cook only slightly, you really want the vinegar to be almost boiling.
Now that your ginger has salted for 60 minutes, take a paper towel and squeeze out the liquid, you don’t want to wash the ginger, only remove the liquid. *TIP*: don’t throw this liquid away, it can be used in stir-fry in place of salt & ginger, and adds an amazing flavor!*
Put your ginger slices in a glass container thats very clean, I personally use a mason (ball) jar. Add your HOT sugar/vinegar mixture into the slices. Stir very gently to coat all pieces and make sure to push any stray bits into the mix.
Let this mixture cool on your countertop until around room temp and store it in the fridge. This is NOT something you eat immediately, it takes atleast 32 hours for the ginger to pickle enough to be tasty. I waited 4 days before trying mine, and it was AMAZING!
Makes: approx. 8-16 ounces prepared, Preparation/cooking time: 10 minutes + 1 hour salting time
A word on Gari (ガリ) – As most of you have probably seen, gari is typically pink in color. If you use extremely fresh ginger, you gari will naturally turn pink. However if your ginger is a little older like mine, it will stay white colored. You can use red food dye, annatto, beet juice or even strawberry juice to turn it pink. However, I think white gari is just as beautiful, and tastes SO good. Please you know what you’re eating, you don’t have to worry about ingesting some strange chemical or preservative!